Kit Siang: Najib should not present Budget 2016

Najib Abdul Razak should not only not present Budget 2016 as Finance Minister, he should step down as Prime Minister following the US Federal Grand Jury convening on him.

KUALA LUMPUR: DAP elder statesman Lim Kit Siang thinks that since a US Federal Grand Jury has convened on him, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak should not present the 2016 Budget in Parliament on 23 October but leave it to a new Finance Minister. “In fact, he should step down as Prime Minister until he can fully clear himself of the charge and suspicions of kleptocracy raised in the US.”

Lim, who is also DAP Parliamentary Leader, noted that the relevant authorities viz. the Police, the Attorney-General’s Chambers, Wisma Putra, the Prime Minister’s Office and the Prime Minister himself has not come out with a clear-cut and satisfactory denial on the news from the US. “Malaysians will have to live with the brutal fact that we have a Prime Minister who is suspected of being a kleptocrat by the US Justice Department.”

Deputy Inspector-General of Police Noor Rashid Ibrahim, he added, has said that the police were not certain about the veracity of a New York Times (NYT) report of a US Grand Jury investigation into Najib under the Justice Department’s Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative.

One Oxford definition of “kleptocrat” is “A ruler who uses his power to steal their country’s resources” while the online dictionary.com defines a “kleptocrat” as “a government official who is a thief or exploiter”.

Whichever the definition, said Lim, has Malaysia a kleptocrat as a Prime Minister as Najib is reported to be targeted for investigations under the US Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative? “This is no small or slight matter.”

Lim quoted Leslie Caldwell, the Assistant Attorney-General, the head of the Department of Justice (DOJ)’s Criminal Division team of nearly 600 lawyers, as saying: “More simply, it (DOJ) takes the monies and assets stolen by foreign despots and returns them to the people harmed. This initiative protects the integrity of the US financial system from use by corrupt officials, and denies corrupt officials the ability to enjoy luxuries purchased in the United States at the expense of the populations they purport to serve.”

The NYT reported on Tuesday that a US Federal Grand Jury was examining allegations of corruption involving Najib and people close to him.

It said the inquiry, which is being run by a unit of the Justice Department that investigates international corruption, is focused on properties in the United States that were purchased in recent years by shell companies that belong to the Prime Minister’s stepson as well as other real estate connected to a close family friend, including the USD681 million payment made to Najib’s personal bank account.

The Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative launched by the United States Attorney General in 2010 under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) 1997 relies on the use of US civil forfeiture actions to recover the proceeds of foreign official corruption that pass through the United States.

Kit Siang: Najib should not present Budget 2016
September 23, 2015 – FMT


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